Quick Takes

Today seems like a good day to take part in that wonderful Friday Tradition hosted at Conversion Diary–quick takes.

Being that the Midwest was overtaken by a terrible blizzard this week, we haven’t left the house much. I say terrible, but…it was about seven inches of snow, that blew and drifted until it all piled up right behind my car, where it will remain until I have to race to the hospital to deliver a baby.

Fortunately, the kids have about ten million new lego pieces to organize this week. Lego is a racket. They put together these kits, and then they want to enshrine them somewhere never to be touched again. Back in my day, kids had to come up with their own plans for lego, and then, after working all day, they’d tear it up and build something else. Thus, a tackle box full of legos could be a delight for the ages.

Of course, I have not been a paragon of creativity this week. After the great sickness–which lasted from Thanksgiving through just about yesterday–I have hardly been bothered to read or write anything. My friend Pedge came to the rescue last week and brought dinner and a couple glossy magazines, which saved me from the blank stare for about forty-eight hours.

Before that I watched just about every movie in the redbox.

Liberal Arts: Somehow was too earnest though it had a few cute moments and a relatable nostalgia about college in the Midwest.

Trouble With the Curve: Had a satisfying, if unlikely, story arc with Clint Eastwood playing the same guy he played in Gran Torrino.

The Words: was a major bore. Dennis Quaid radiating superfluous smarm as he hits on a young woman admirer. Eww.

Ruby Sparks: annoying

Damsels in Distress: Have no idea what this was about.

Lawless: Prohibition was a bad idea.

Arbitrage: Capitalism is bad, and Richard Gere is even worse.

Now I’m ready to be productive again. As in, I want to re-read Anna Karenina before I see the movie, and the Hobbit before I see the movie, and Les Miserables before I see the movie. This will ensure I don’t watch a single movie in 2013.

My husband had a wonderful idea to cut down on media consumption in the new year. We got a new stereo as a family present for Christmas, on which he plans to download books on CD to listen to before bed at night with the kids.

We canceled our dish subscription, since somehow, with 500 channels, the only thing that’s ever on TV is Fox news and “Best Bra Ever!”–and hence, we have been released from the 24 hour news cycle. I love it.

So far, it’s going well. We listened to Call of the Wild, which the kids seemed to enjoy, and even with all the bites to the jugular, they seemed calmer before bed.

The other thing I’m loving about radio these days, is that you can get almost any station in the world now to stream live from your I-pod. We’ve been listening to Interlochen in Michigan, and I think we’re all getting smarter.

Plus, I can still get PBS online.

This concludes my quick-takes. I have not felt funny or smart in a long time. We should have a baby in the next week and a half, and maybe after that brain function will increase slightly, though I don’t want to count on it. The boys were fighting upstairs earlier in the week, and one of them yelled down: “Mom! Can you make him stop talking about monkey anuses?!” And it took me a minute to remember what a monkey anus was, before concluding that getting a ten-year-old to stop talking about one was an exercise in futility. He might still be talking about it for all I know.

About Elizabeth Duffy
  • Meredith

    I’ll pray for you as you wait! Is there much that’s harder than being sick and very pregnant at the same time?

    I agree with the shrine of Lego today. My son says it is almost a relief when the little sibs destroy one, because then he is “freed” to take it apart and play with the cool functions at will. I

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      Thanks for the prayers!

      I almost want to break a few lego creations myself, as a gift to the kids–heh.

  • karyn

    I love the idea of listening to books on CD before bedtime. We usually just do family reading but I wouldn’t mind listening to a “professional”. Alas, our only worthwhile stereo system is in the van.

    Funny (well, not funny to you) how other people’s pregnancies go so quickly. It seems like you were just slipping in the announcement on that post about flying and here you are almost ready to deliver! I’ll be praying for you and Baby. Did I miss the post about whether it’s a girl or a boy or don’t you find out? I think you only have one girl, right?

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      Unless we’re mistaken, it’s a girl. Other people’s pregnancies do go fast. I’m sure these next couple weeks will feel like the longest ever on my end though.

      Neither my husband nor I have good read aloud voices–or at least I don’t. I have no stamina, so it is nice to listen to a professional. We’ve also looked into that libravox database where nice amateurs upload books for free. But it’s easy there to be picky with the readers for no good reason.

  • http://charmingdisarray.blogspot.com/ Io

    The Words was strange…never have starving writers been portrayed with so much gloss and money. I thought the younger version of Jeremy Irons was all right, though. If the movie had just been about him I wouldn’t have complained. Thanks for mentioning Damsels in Distress…I was trying to remember what it called right as I was reading your post, so it was timely.

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      I agree with you about the Jeremy Irons part. That was really the only pleasing part to watch. I couldn’t bring myself to like any of the other characters however.

      I forgot to add that I also watched Moonrise Kingdom, and I’m not sure if it’s just my state of mind right now that I can’t like movies, but it really felt constipated to me.

      On the Indy movie front–I’m also wondering if I have an anti-Greta-Gerwig complex. I hated the movie Greenburg, and haven’t been able to like her in anything since–which may have been my trouble with Damsels in Distress–because it did have some funny/smart lines, but I couldn’t absolve myself from reality long enough to take any the characters seriously.

  • http://roughplacesplain.tumblr.com/ nancyo

    Totally agree about the Legos. My girls built the kit as intended/pictured once, we took a photo, and then never again in that way. The pieces were freed up to build whatever they could invent. Wishing you all the best on labor and delivery and bliss with your new little girl. Your pregnancy has actually seemed really long from my perspective.

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      I feel like I have the gestation period of an elephant. I think that, should I become pregnant again, I won’t mention it online until I’m about 30 weeks, if I can manage that.

  • Rebecca

    When are you due? I am have been following you for a bit, but somehow missed that part! I’m due Jan 7 and found your post (and following reader comments) about “what to do to get ready for baby” very helpful! Also, just started reading Anna K. after Christmas to prep for the movie. So good. and not so long that it’ll take you till 2014. But Les Mis… I don’t know about that one. May go the painless epidural route on that one and just watch the movie. Such a long book. blech.

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      I’m also due the 7th! Congratulations to us!

      I’m about halfway through Anna K. But today, I felt good, and my husband was around, and I haven’t been out of the house in the past three weeks except for Doctor’s visits…so…I went to see it. I haven’t quite digested it yet. It moves very fast, and I’m not sure I liked the theater framework–but the costumes, of course were gorgeous, and they accurately caught the tragedy of it. I was a little worried they might put a hollywood spin on adultery. I remember my professor in college asking whether Anna killed herself, or whether society killed Anna. And definitely, Anna chooses her own doom in the movie.

  • Otepoti

    Only a few days to go, but the ones where it’s hardest to keep it together. Prayers, as ever.

    Let’s pass the time by shouting out our favourite pieces of Anna Karenina, pieces that – dollars to doughnuts – never made it into the movie.

    1. Levin mowing the meadow.
    2. Levin trying the new skating trick.
    3. Vronsky sitting down to settle his debts, and feeling afterwards as if he’d taken a bath.
    4. The much-tried sister-in-law getting up her children respectably for church.

    But – that Kitty – can’t stand her, especially when she takes to good works.

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      I was looking for all those scenes in the movie, too, Otepoti! I was surprised by the reading this time, how much more I enjoyed the Levin and Kitty parts than I usually do, and I thought movie Levin was too skinny. And I wanted to see Dotty in the country, and visit the halfway house where the rich peasants live.

      On another note, can’t wait to put the new little one in her wooly hat and sweater (that match my scarf!). Will send a pic when it all comes together.

      • Otepoti

        Oh, yes, and the table-top riddling between Kitty and Levin when they finally get it together – WYSTICNB, etc, etc. Or something like that. (Little did they suspect they were the first texters.) Actually, the reason I dislike Kitty is that she reminds me of me – dangerously prone to hero-worship, she longs for the holiness she sees in the pietist girl, but she can’t swing it for herself, and it then it turns out that her longing for holiness is mostly a phase. Sad. I think she got the better bargain of the two in K and L’s marriage. I think Tolstoy thinks that, too.

        Nobody thinks much about Seriozha, do they? Poor little boy.